A place in the world’s top-50, that is the target both Dudi Sela and Julia
Glushko have set themselves for the upcoming season after regaining their Israel
national titles in Ra’anana on Friday.
Sela, ranked No. 73 in the world,
claimed his fourth Israel title with a resounding 6-3, 6- 1 victory over last
year’s champion Amir Weintraub (189), dominating his Davis Cup
Sela was ranked as high as No. 29 in the world in July 2009,
but dropped out of the top-50 in the ATP rankings in February 2010. The
28-yearold begins his season at the Chennai Open in India next week and is
confident he can surge up the rankings in 2014.
“I played really solid
tennis throughout the final,” said Sela. “Amir didn’t play well at the start of
the match and he struggled to find his rhythm.
I’m feeling great and I
hope to return to the top-50 as quickly as possible.”
Despite the defeat,
Weintraub was pleased at simply reaching the final after undergoing a hernia
operation in October.
“Dudi was superb. I should pay him for the lesson
he gave me in the final,” said Weintraub, who will start the new season in the
Challenger tournament in New Caledonia next week. “I’m not sure I would have
beaten him even had I been at my best. I’m just happy I made the final. I still
don’t feel very good on court, but at least I’m no longer in pain.”
Shahar Pe’er missing the championships through injury, anything but a second
women’s title in three years for Glushko (91) would have been a massive
Ofri Lankri, who retired last year, surprisingly gave Glushko a
run for her money in the first set of the final, but the favorite ultimately
prevailed 7-6, 6-2.
“I expected a tough match because I saw how well Ofri
had played all week,” Glushko said. “This was a good preparation ahead of the
Australian Open. I have a very clear goal this season, to crack the top- 50.
I’ll be very disappointed if that doesn’t happen.”
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